Default

Eric Cantor rules on the debt ceiling?  From Talking Points Memo comes this bit of knowledge on who can propose a vote on the debt.

Under normal House rules, according to House Democrats, once that bill had been rejected again by the Senate, then any member of the House could have made a motion to vote on the Senate’s bill. Such a motion would have been what is called “privileged” and entitled to a vote of the full House  …   But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.”

Bruce Bartlett writes on some of the history of the thinking on default on federal debt:

For many hardliners debt default is the goal in the New York Times:

The Obama administration and those on Wall Street have long thought that such a prospect was so horrifying that it would necessarily lead to resolution of the current budget impasse. What I don’t think they understand is that there has been a movement under way for some years among right-wing economists and activists not merely to default on the debt, but even to repudiate it.

Default advocates are a small minority — 10 to 20 percent of the population,according to a poll conducted in the first week of October by AP/GFK – although at present they appear to be the tail wagging the G.O.P. dog. But most Republicans probably share the view that the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, expressed after the 2011 debt showdown.

“I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he told The Washington Post. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.”

But hostages sometimes die in the crossfire.

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